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What started out as a DIY project turned into much more for designer and builder Jayme Guokas. The first custom countertop he created was for a rental property he owned, then friends started asking and a new business was born. Houzz documented the steps Goukas takes to create these beautiful customizable countertops:

  1. First, he crafts a plywood frame from the countertops measurements. He then puts shaping pieces in places where the sink will be and other hole:
  2. He determines whether he needs to add recessed spaces for cutting boards and dish drains depending on the clients’ needs:
  3. The concrete is poured. After two weeks in the tray, Goukas removes it and begins grinding and polishing it. He then puts the countertop in place and applies a paste of beeswax and mineral oil to add a layer of protection.
  4. To make each countertop unique, Guokas lets his clients add their own personal inlaid details to the concrete. “We talk about colors, shapes, materials, objects that resonate with them and the overall design of the inlays,” he says. Many have put in pieces of glass, shards of metal and more personal items that they want to remain in there forever.
  5. Lastly, he uses concrete pigments to create different hues and further customize his creations. 
This article can be found in its original form on Houzz.

pomegranatesIf you’re hosting Thanksgiving tomorrow but haven’t had time to decorate, you may want to try one of these 5 simple ideas from Country Living:

Fruit Centerpieces: Pomegranates can make beautiful centerpieces. Cut branches to height that allows its heavy fruits to rest on the rim of your vase and then fill the rest with fall foliage such as purple shiso leaves. You can also try this with apples or persimmons.

Crabapple Arrangement: This is an easy arrangement that can spruce up any space.  Simply remove the leaves from each limb and then display each in a vase. Use different sized vases for the varying limbs. You an also try this with figs or chestnuts.

2 crabapple

Craft a Unique Table Runner: Try this DIY leaf table runner from blue and green felt. Use this leaf template to cut out shapes to traverse your table in an overlapping design.

4 pinecones

Pinecone Door Hanging: This pinecone cluster is an alternative to the standard wreath. To make, gather 8 four to six inch pinecones and 8 two-foot long pieces of silk ribbon. Use a hot glue gun to adhere the last two inches of each ribbon to the base of the cone.  When the glue is dry collect all the ribbons staggering them at different lengths and tie the end in a knot.

Put Your Stamp on Cocktail Napkins: Stamp messages and designs onto small cocktail napkins. You can even have your kids help you with this activity.

This article can be found in its original form on Country Living.